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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Reflection"
Volume 5 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Life in the Raw
Our Internal Body Rhythms

with Melissa Gilbert

One evening a few months back, my husband David and I were discussing the food we eat. We are Raw Vegans, so we consume raw fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. We have been living the raw lifestyle for quite awhile now and although our bodies feel so much better than they ever did eating cooked food, there was still something wrong. Yes, we do feel light, healthy and beautiful but…

So we began reflecting back to our childhoods and how our Great Grandparents lived their lives. They all seemed so healthy and strong; they truly enjoyed their lives. They never stressed over anything and were always happy, at least that's what they told us.

Our discussion turned from what they ate to the time of the day they ate their meals. They went to bed as the sun set after a long day of work and they rose when the sun rose each and every day. They ate their largest meal of the day at breakfast and never ate past 3 pm in the afternoon, 4 pm was the latest they would ever eat a meal. They ate the food they grew or raised throughout their lives and lived on what our Mother Earth provided for them. Well, being as inquisitive as I am, I began to wonder what was so different back then, than in today's world. The following is what I have found in my research into why they ate a certain times during the day, and why they were so healthy and active, it all makes so much sense now. I hope after you read my column it will resonate within you.

Practitioners of oriental healing and medicine believe there are twelve major energy meridians in our bodies. They run from the top of your head, through your fingers and down to your toes. Meridians are channels which carry subtle energy through your body. These twelve meridians are when our internal body rhythms, or internal body clocks do their work.

The rhythms of our bodies and the meridians which are active are as follows:

The liver meridian, is the most active from 1:00 and 3:00 am. The liver is the key organ in toxic elimination. It filters the blood, and is very active at night when we are sleeping. When we move, our blood moves; when we are still, our blood returns to the liver. The liver rebuilds the body during the night, when we should be still (sleeping). It is beneficial to consume no food during this time. Abstinence gives this hard-working organ the chance to do it's job.

The stomach meridian is active between 7:00 and 9:00 am in the morning. The best time to feed our body the largest meal of the day is between these hours, when our stomach is most active. Your internal body rhythm has prepared your stomach to receive food now. Your stomach empties 50 percent faster after breakfast than after dinner.

The spleen/pancreas meridian is active between 9:00 and 11:00 am, just after breakfast. It is the pancreas that completes the job of breaking down protein, carbohydrates, and fats using it's digestive juices from the intestines. It manages enzyme production for digestion and metabolism. It secretes hormones which affect blood sugar levels. You want the pancreas to be most active when you have just eaten a large meal, since the pancreatic failure in the production of enzymes causes food to digest poorly.

Another benefit to having your largest meal at breakfast is the spleen can readily transform food into energy. Upon doing much research on this topic, I have found western science agrees with oriental healing and medicine in that individuals who consume the majority of their calories in the morning have more energy and are able to maintain their optimum weight more easily, whereas those who consume the majority of their calories in the evenings tend to be sluggish and gain weight.

The heart meridian is most active between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The heart is the "Boss" of all vital organs. The heart regulates other organs by controlling blood circulation. The heart works as a pump to send oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. Blood contains oxygen and nutrients needed by every cell in your body. How hard your heart has to work is strongly connected with digestion. Blood pressure also rises in the morning and stays elevated until late afternoon. Then it drops off, marking it's lowest point during the night, when our bodies are still. Not eating at night will alleviate the burden on your heart.

The small intestine meridian is most active between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. The small intestine is the doorway for absorption of virtually all nutrients into the blood. The small intestine is also the place where the most chemical digestion takes place. In the small intestine, proteins are changed into amino acids, fats into fatty acids, and carbohydrates into sugars. This could be the best time for your second or last meal of the day.

As a child growing up, my Great Grandparents only ate 2 meals a day, their largest meal was at breakfast and their second meal, dinner was never after 3:00 in the afternoon. They always said if they ate later than that, they would feel too sluggish the next day and had trouble working the farm. Back then people led slower lives and paid a great deal of attention to what their bodies were telling them. I often wonder what has happened to us today?

The kidney meridian is most active between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. The hours when we, in the western world would traditionally eat our dinner. Since this is a organ of elimination, it should be doing it's job of cleansing instead of dealing with a heavy meal. The kidneys are the most important reservoir of energy, essential for the body.

The five organs of elimination and detoxification are the colon (large intestine), kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin. Your skin is always eliminating, however the rest are active either at night or in the latter part of the day. In order for these organs to do their job of elimination properly the body ideally should not be fed during this time.

Knowing and respecting the rhythms of your body, will help you coordinate your body to achieve maximum performance from it, without over working it.

In Health and Light

You can read Melissa's interview in this issue of Timeless Spirit Magazine.

Melissa Gilbert is a Raw food Chef, a Certified Raw Food Nutritional Consultant, and a Raw Food Coach. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer and works with her client's nutritional goals as well as getting them established in an exercise regime. Melissa also owns and operates a Raw Vegan Daycare, called Little Sprouts Daycare.

A writer for Pear Magazine, a raw lifestyle publication, Melissa has decided to join us as a regular columnist and Associate Editor (staff member) here at Timeless Spirit Magazine.

Currently getting her Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition and taking classes to become a Hygienic Doctor, she is mother to toddler, Alex and wife to David as well as mother to 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren. As if that isn't enough on her plate, Melissa and David have started The Sunny Raw Café in Denver Colorado, a Raw Vegan home delivery café for people living the raw lifestyle, or who simply want to eat more healthy foods.

In her spare time Melissa enjoys the great outdoors, mountain hiking, biking, snow shoeing, camping in the backwoods and sailing. A Shaman in training and Tarot card enthusiast, Melissa (and her family) practices Buddhism with Pagan influences. If you would like to learn more about Raw Foods you can reach Melissa via email or visit one of her websites: www.LoveRawLife.com, www.rawtoddleralex.blogspot.com, and www.rawmom.blogspot.com.

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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

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